The influences of both predator density and elapsed time between initial infestation and introduction of predators were determined for suppression of bruchids infesting stored grain legumes by Xylocoris flavipes (Reuter) (Hemiptera: Anthocoridae). Predator density treatments consisted of zero, one, two, three, or five male:female pairs of adult X. flavipes added to experimental arenas 0, 24, or 120 h after bruchid introduction. Suppression of Acanthoscelides obtectus approached eradication with all predator treatments. For all other bruchid species evaluated (Callosobruchus analis, C. chinensis, C. maculatus, and Zabrotes subfasciatus), the most effective predator density and addition time (five predator pairs at 0 h) resulted in an ∼50% reduction of emerging F1 bruchids compared with progeny produced in arenas without predators. The predator addition time of 0 h, when predators were added to experimental arenas simultaneously with the pest species, was determined to be the universally most efficacious treatment time. Predator density above one pair but lower than five pairs was less influential overall when X. flavipes was added 24 or 120 h after initial bruchid infestation; however, maximum suppression was achieved at approximately two predator pairs and not significantly improved on with increased predator density. Our results indicate that the most effective biological control of pest bruchids would occur when X. flavipes is added as soon as possible after legumes are stored.
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